Dear Mama, on the day of your daughters' diagnoses,
It's going to be okay. It really is.
I know you're afraid right now. I know you're thinking, “Is this really happening? And both of them? Why? Why both of them?”
I know you're angry at yourself. Angry that you are upset, because you already know there is hope. But you're angry all the same, because it feels unfair, and scary, and the path forward is so unknown that the hope looks a little faint.
The unknown can feel paralyzing.
Yet, here is what I know.
You will be okay. And they, your little girls, will be okay too. They are the same little girls you watched for weeks in ultrasound after ultrasound, praying for them and excitedly awaiting the day you would meet them. And remember when the ultrasounds started showing difficulties, and you cried and pleaded with God in the middle of the night to please protect and save them? These are the precious souls that you prayed for. They are so small, but they are strong.
The unknown can feel paralyzing, but it can also hold something beautiful, and you will soon discover it. You will soon discover that the love and joy your girls bring to your family and to your heart is so much greater than you possibly could have imagined when you heard the words “Down syndrome.”
The unknowns of the health issues? I know, you're most afraid of that right now, and I don't blame you. It's out of love for your little girls that you feel this. You want to protect them and spare them pain or hardship. But I think you might be pleasantly surprised by what you will begin to learn as you enter into a world of specialists and doctors. Even while watching your daughters face hard things, you will be blown away by their strength. I won't pretend that health problems are easy. But the fears will take a back seat as you realize just how incredibly blessed you are to watch one little girl handle each sickness and struggle with joy, contentment, and ease. It will change you, and your family, for the better. It will strengthen your faith and trust in God like you haven't experienced before. It will make you a better advocate and voice for both of them and for your family. It will strengthen you. It will open your eyes to a whole world of families just like yours, who are also learning what a joy their child is bringing to the world.
And the unknowns of what the rest of the world will do, how they will treat them, what they will think, how they will feel about it? Well, start with your own little world. You have a loving husband who doesn't waver in hard times, and he's ready to face this. He loves his little girls no matter what. You have a little boy who is going to be the most loving big brother. And Down syndrome doesn't mean a thing to a little boy who's not yet two. He's just happy to have two sweet babies to look at and kiss and give his toys to. Even further, you have an amazing support system of friends and family who are ready and eager to support you. Outside of these things? You will find that there is more support there, too. There are wonderful teachers, doctors, church members, and other moms just like you, ready to be a part of this with you. And even further still is a world where there is hope too. Even though there are some changes to be made, the wide world that your little girls are just meeting for the first time will be changed by them too, and you are all more ready than you think to meet it together as a family. God has given them both sweet spirits, eager to love and offer joy and spread smiles. They will help change perspectives, minds, and hearts, not the least being your own.
So much is still unknown. But sometimes, the unknown can be beautiful, wonderful, and miraculous.
Mama of 3, two blessed with an extra chromosome
Lauren lives in southwest Wisconsin with her husband, almost-4-year-old son, 2-year-old twin girls, and is expecting another baby in May. She has a degree in special education and a passion for teaching those with disabilities, but her world was still changed forever when her twin girls were diagnosed at birth with mosaic Down syndrome. She is a stay-at-home-mom and her husband is a music teacher. She enjoys writing about the unique world of mosaicism, twins, high-risk pregnancy and the NICU, and how her faith has been challenged and grown through this new and unexpected journey. Follow her blog at www.thelittlestlambs.wordpress.com.